Conservative Christian David Benham says North Carolina police selectively enforced the state’s COVID-19-related stay-at-home order to arrest him during the weekend while he was peacefully standing with pro-life counselors outside an abortion clinic. Sen. Ted Cruz called the arrest “unconstitutional.”
Benham, one of the twin brothers who were famously dropped from an HGTV home-flipping show after LGBT activists pressured the network over their traditional beliefs on marriage and sexuality, posted a video on Twitter and Instagram of police officers arresting him for participating in a “non-essential” activity — sidewalk counseling — outside of the abortion clinic.
“My boys and I went to support the awesome sidewalk counselors who work with our non-profit, Cities for Life,” he tweeted. “We offer life-affirming services for at-risk mothers. It’s been an absolute privilege serving over 5,000 vulnerable mothers who felt abortion was their only choice!”
He added, “We support taking every precaution during COVID-19. This is why we maintained our social distance and stayed under 10 in number. We were not belligerent… We simply stood our ground. MLK once said, ‘A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right.’”
Speaking to The Daily Wire, Benham said, “This is selective enforcement of the law. You are coming after us because we’re standing in front of an abortion clinic … I am not going to let the government have unlimited power and use this crisis to their advantage.”
Benham says his federally recognized public charity, Cities For Life, is considered an essential service. However, police officers claimed that more than 10 people had gathered, an accusation that Benham denied. “The sidewalk counselors stayed over 6’ apart and there were less than five of them. Yet this officer selectively enforced the law, even though Cities4Life had less than 10 people,” he wrote on Twitter.
Referring to a report published on WBTV, which claimed that eight people were arrested for “mass gathering protest,” Benham called it “fake news.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, supported Benham. “My friend David Benham was unconstitutionally arrested today in NC for peacefully providing pregnancy counseling outside an abortion clinic,” he wrote on Twitter. “If NC deems abortion ‘essential,’ then pregnancy care services are as well. This is WRONG; Governor Cooper should be ashamed.”
In another tweet, Cruz argued that they were exercising their First Amendment rights in a peaceful manner and accused the pro-abortion Democrats in the state of "abusing their power—in a one-sided way—to silence pregnancy counselors.”
“Have you ever seen an arrest like this? Peaceful. Respectful. Thanking the police officers. Elected Dems are abusing their power for political agenda & face civil liability under 42 USC 1983,” he contended.